Kris Kristofferson was one of the big draws at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival, which just wrapped up over the weekend. The singer-songwriter and Renaissance man, who recently turned 80, played a set of classics that included “For the Good Times” as well as a duet with Margo Price on “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Kristofferson starts the song — a posthumous hit for Janis Joplin in 1971 — with his band backing him up, singing the first verse in the weathered rasp that has become his signature. Price joins him onstage for the first chorus and sprinkles in some Emmylou Harris-style harmonies. As the song nears the end, however, it switches from Kristofferson’s easygoing arrangement to the wild, careening take perfected by Joplin, with Price doing her best to imitate the singer’s bluesy wail. Kristofferson even takes a step back and lets her rip, and the crowd enthusiastically applauds her vocal somersaults.
In June, Sony Music released Kris Kristofferson: The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection, a 16-disc retrospective of his 11 studio albums plus unreleased songs and live recordings from the early Seventies. Back in March, Kristofferson was the focus of an all-star tribute concert in Nashville with guests including Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and others.
Kris Kristofferson is one of the greatest songwriters of all time and he also happens to be an accomplished actor. Watch here.